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Wolves: Julen Lopetegui’s Raul Jimenez comments ‘ridiculous’

Wolves: Julen Lopetegui's Raul Jimenez comments 'ridiculous' - Premier League News

Former BBC pundit Noel Whelan has claimed that Wolves manager Julen Lopetegui’s comments on Raul Jimenez going to the World Cup are ‘ridiculous’.

The Lowdown: Lopetegui ‘worried’

As quoted by The Daily Mail, Lopetegui claimed that he is ‘worried’ about Jimenez, and that the Midlands club are more ‘important’ than the World Cup for the Mexico international.

Jimenez has only made four senior appearances so far this season for the Molineux outfit because of injury (Transfermarkt), but has featured in both group games for Mexico at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar so far.

The Latest: Lopetegui comments ‘ridiculous’

Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan has claimed that Lopetegui’s comments are ‘very unfair’, and that it is ‘ridiculous’ to ask Jimenez to compromise when he has the chance to play at a World Cup:

“I think it’s very unfair from Lopetegui.

“If anything, playing at the World Cup will help him come back fitter and stronger.

“You can’t ask a player to compromise playing on that stage, it’s ridiculous.

“He might not get another opportunity to do it. Jimenez is a great striker, and he’ll want to be part of it.

“I see this as a real benefit for Wolves and Jimenez. He can come back sharp and hungry after being out of action for so long.”

The Verdict: Both sides to the argument…

On one side, you can sympathise with Lopetegui, a new manager at the helm who wants his key players fully fit for when they return to domestic football after the World Cup.

The Wanderers are bottom of the Premier League table on just 10 points, and have scored the fewest goals in the division with eight.

With the likes of Sasa Kalajdzic and Pedro Neto out injured long-term, Lopetegui needs Jimenez to be fit and firing in front of goal, as the striker has been prolific before in an Old Gold shirt.

On the other side, the World Cup only comes every four years, and Jimenez will be 35 by the time the next one comes. He has now won 99 caps for Mexico, and has the chance to win a landmark 100th if he features in their final group game against Saudi Arabia.

If he did not go to the tournament as perhaps Lopetegui would have wished, given his injury history, he may not have had a chance to reach that milestone.

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